Thank you MN Catholic Conference (from which this is taken)

my note;
12 years watching abused and abandoned children struggle to make their way through a poorly resourced county system as a Hennepin County guardian ad-Litem makes it tough to witness the Governor’s defunding of programs that have kept them from the most basic services and abject poverty.

The Governor’s line-item veto of GAMC and proposed unallotments ignore the human dignity of our poorest and most vulnerable neighbors, and will cause significant harm to those among us who we are called to place first. And, in turn, it will further weaken our state’s continual pursuit of the common good. Though the Governor’s plan includes several harmful unallotments, our greatest concerns are with the following seven proposed unallotments:

1. Elimination of Emergency Assistance: On November 1, 2009, two of Minnesota’s three Emergency Assistance programs will end: Emergency General Assistance (EGA) and Emergency Minnesota Supplemental Assistance (EMSA). These two critical safety-net programs provide needed assistance to Minnesotans who cannot fully support themselves, usually due to illness or disability, and who are facing an emergency that threatens their health or safety. Oftentimes related to imminent eviction, foreclosure or utility shut-off, ignored emergencies place our already struggling neighbors on the edge of homelessness….

2. Elimination of GAMC Coverage on March 1, 2010: Health insurance for “the poorest of the poor and the sickest of the sick” will end four months earlier than expected. When the Governor line-item vetoed GAMC on May 14, the program was slated to end on July 1, 2010. However, under the executive power of unallotment, GAMC will instead end on March 1, 2010…. the Minnesota Legislature will have less than four weeks, after reconvening on February 4, 2010 to address the elimination of health care coverage for our 30,000 neighbors who are living at or below 75 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

3. Cutting Children & Community Services Grants: Children & Community Services Grants provide crucial funding for counties to purchase or provide social services for seniors, adults, children and families struggling with abuse and neglect, living with a disability, mental illness or chronic health condition, or living in poverty. Additionally, these grants provide services for: pregnant adolescents, adolescent parents and their children; adults who are vulnerable and in need of protection; people over the age of 60 who need help living independently; and people with developmental disabilities. The Governor proposes cutting Children & Community Services Grants by 25 percent during FY 2010, and by 33 percent during FY 2011.

These grants fund a variety of critical services: adoption, case management, counseling, foster care for adults and children, protective services for adults and children, residential treatment, services for people with developmental, emotional or physical disabilities, substance abuse counseling, transportation, and public guardianship.

As Pliny said 2500 years ago; “what you do to your children, they will do to your society”, or as former MN Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz said just a few years ago, “90 % of the youth in juvenile justice have come through child protection”. Nationally, over 50% of youth in juvenile justice have diagnosable mental illness, and fully half of that population have multiple and severe diagnosis (this goes along way in explaining why America’s schools and streets are troubled).

Minnesota’s governor’s won’t maintain bridges or people, and he thinks it economically sound policy in the face of disaster and double digit prison growth. He believes in God and stadiums, yet I know of no religion in the world that abandons the weakest and most vulnerable among us. I’m not against stadiums, I’m simply more pro children).

Support at risk children, start a KARA group in your community.

Have something to add? Tell us your point of view or story…

If you think someone might appreciate this information, press the share button below..


4. Lowering Medical Assistance (MA) Asset Limits for Parents and Eliminating MA Critical Access Dental Services: In order for parents to qualify for Medical Assistance (MA), health care services for low-income Minnesotans, they must be living at or below 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines ($22,050 for a family of four). On January 1, 2011, the MA asset limit for a single parent will decrease from $10,000 to $3,000, and from $20,000 to $6,000 for a couple. This unallotment completely undermines one of the six key challenges identified by the Legislative Commission to End Poverty in Minnesota by 2020 (LCEP).

According to the LCEP, “Public assistance programs must work to move people toward financial self-sufficiency. Too often well-intentioned programs end up having the opposite effect, especially when they lead to asset depletion as a condition for participation.” postscript; like the bridge that fell in the river at a replacement cost of one billion dollars (instead of a few million in maintenance), children that are ignored by a community will be more costly to that community as they become adults.

Further, eliminating funding for the Critical Access Dental Provider Program will severely harm the overall health and well-being of many low-income Minnesotans. Not only will many low-income and disabled Minnesotans lose access to dental care, but many Minnesotans will be forced to visit emergency rooms for untreated dental problems. In April 2010, the dental safety net that thousand of Minnesotans rely on could be eliminated.

5. Requiring the Health Care Access Fund to Fund Transitional MinnesotaCare and the Outreach Incentive Program: Transitional MinnesotaCare provides six months of coverage for low-income Minnesotans who are transitioning from GAMC to MinnesotaCare. Currently, the General Fund provides funding for the first two months of this program, and the Health Care Access Fund (HCAF) provides the remaining funding. The Governor’s proposed unallotment requires the HCAF to fund the entire six months of Transitional MinnesotaCare coverage. Beginning July 1, 2009, the HCAF will need to finance an additional, and unexpected, $37.5 million. The Minnesota Legislature created the HCAF in 1992 as a dedicated funding source for health care expansion. The HCAF is the primary source of funding for the MinnesotaCare program, which purchases health care for 118,000 uninsured, low-income, working families and adults each month. The General Fund also currently provides $3.4 million in funding for important community-based programs that help uninsured Minnesotans apply for public health programs.

On July 1, 2010, the HCAF will also need to fully fund these important outreach programs. Over the next two years not only will the HCAF need to fund an additional $41 million for Transitional MinnesotaCare and the Outreach Incentive Program, but the HCAF will need to fund health care for an additional 30,000 former GAMC recipients.

6. Cutting Funding for Group Residential Housing (GRH): Group Residential Housing (GRH) Grants provide income supplements for room, board and other related housing services for Minnesotans whose illnesses or disabilities prevent them from living independently. There are more than 5,000 facilities in Minnesota serving people with developmental disabilities, mental illness, chemical dependency, physical disabilities, advanced age or brain injuries. Each month, 15,200 Minnesotans who are unable to live independently in the community are served through GRH. With an additional 5% cut to GRH, as is proposed by the Governor, facilities will likely be unable to continue providing the same level of services.

There is also great concern that facilities will be forced to close. As a result, many low-income Minnesotans living with disabilities will be forced into homelessness.

postscript; like the bridge that fell in the river at a replacement cost of one billion dollars (instead of a few million in maintenance), children that are ignored by a community will be more costly to that community as they become adults.

As Pliny said 2500 years ago; “what you do to your children, they will do to your society”, or as former MN Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz said just a few years ago, “90 % of the youth in juvenile justice have come through child protection”. Nationally, over 50% of youth in juvenile justice have diagnosable mental illness, and fully half of that population have multiple and severe diagnosis (this goes along way in explaining why America’s schools and streets are troubled).

Minnesota’s governor’s won’t maintain bridges or people, and he thinks it economically sound policy in the face of disaster and double digit prison growth. He believes in God and stadiums, yet I know of no religion in the world that abandons the weakest and most vulnerable among us. I’m not against stadiums, I’m simply more pro children).

Support at risk children, start a KARA group in your community.

Have something to add? Tell us your point of view or story…

If you think someone might appreciate this information, press the share button below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment